Similarities Between the Dissimilar, or What Happens When You Read Homer and Tolkien at the Same Time

Although J.R.R. Tolkien avoided taking inspiration from classical Greek mythology, there is one aspect of his writing which I cannot help but see as being influenced by Homer.  Never yet in all my reading of mythology have I encountered an epic as vast and complete as the Iliad and the Odyssey. Many mythologies, though extensive … Continue reading Similarities Between the Dissimilar, or What Happens When You Read Homer and Tolkien at the Same Time

Reflections on The Lantern Bearers, by Rosemary Sutcliff

My stack of books has finally dwindled down to a sane degree.  During the fall and spring semesters I usually have a mound of reading material on my bookshelf:  required books for any classes I am taking, philosophical literature I am reading for information, the one novel I am reading for pleasure, as well as … Continue reading Reflections on The Lantern Bearers, by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Unexpected Value of Rereading the Iliad

My first reading experience with Homer’s Iliad was the equivalent of hauling a boulder along a gravel track by a piece of string.  I was unused to the weight of classical literature and my mind was exhausted by the long-winded descriptions and detail, excessive slaughter, and exasperating characters.  I found great comfort in the thought … Continue reading The Unexpected Value of Rereading the Iliad

More on the Influence of Freedom on Character in The Horse and His Boy

I wrote last week about the influence freedom has on the Narnians’ actions toward their fellow men (and animals).  However, what I did not have time to write about was how this freedom influences their attitudes as well. If one reads enough C.S. Lewis, it becomes clear that the Narnians are Lewis’s interpretation of a … Continue reading More on the Influence of Freedom on Character in The Horse and His Boy

The Influence of Freedom on Character in The Horse and His Boy

In The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis portrays the Narnians as being honourable, gracious, and genuine people.  This is especially evident in The Horse and His Boy owing to its Calormen setting.  The customs and culture of Calormen are placed beside those of Narnia; and the Narnians are seen from the perspective of Calormenes, or … Continue reading The Influence of Freedom on Character in The Horse and His Boy

Yet Another Translation of Beowulf

I very recently finished reading John Lesslie Hall’s translation of Beowulf.  Several months ago I shared my reflections on Seamus Heaney’s and J.R.R. Tolkien’s translations of Beowulf in Beowulf: Seamus Heaney vs. J.R.R. Tolkien.  It feels appropriate to share my thoughts on Hall’s translation as well. Hall’s translation is a verse translation which, to the … Continue reading Yet Another Translation of Beowulf